Herefordshire Council has ruled out any 11th hour effort to save a care home from closing saying it won’t use public money to prop up a private company.

It now seems all over for The Chestnuts, Ross-on- Wye. Even a deal to secure full notice and redundancy payments for staff has collapsed.

The only future for the home lies in the hands of any other operator willing to take it over, while options for the ongoing care of the residents are still being explored.

Herefordshire Council said this week that it had made “every effort” to support the trustees of The Chestnuts. But a recent request from the trustees to fund personal liabilities would, the council said, be an inappropriate use of public money.

”We genuinely believe we have done all we can to help The Chestnuts,” said council leader John Jarvis.

The trustees have said they will shut the home at the end of the month because they cannot pay double the rent on a much reduced term being offered by the council.

Under fire over the closure, the council has defended its stance by pointing out that it had leased the building to the trustees for a peppercorn rent for nearly 20 years.

And it claimed it made a “generous offer “ which would have allowed the trustees to lease the building from the council for a quarter of what it could get if it charged the full commercial rent.

Hereford MP Jesse Norman has been in talks with both the council and the trustees over the future for The Chestnuts.

But the MP’s attempt to broker a deal that secured full notice and redundancy payments for staff at the home has collapsed.

The trustees of The Chestnuts told the Hereford Times the decision to close was “difficult and painful”.

They say the decision was taken because the rate of residents’ funding paid by the council had, according to the trustees, been well below the actual cost of maintaining a resident in the home while complying with statutory care quality standards.